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Save a Dog's Life While on Vacation in Kauai

Nov. 03, 2014
4 min read
Save a Dog's Life While on Vacation in Kauai
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Outside of travel, one of my personal passions is dog rescue. These days I don't get to support the rescue effort as a foster home near as much as I used to thanks to having a young kid and a 14+ year old rescued grumpy husky in the house, but I try to use my wallet to support the efforts as much as I can.

I also love to look for unique ways to combine travel and dog rescue, and there is one really awesome way that I want to highlight as it combines dog rescue and one of my very favorite islands, Kauai.

If you have a soft spot for dogs in need, and are flying Alaska Airlines to San Diego, Portland, Seattle, or Oakland on a nonstop Alaska Airlines flights from Lihue, you can save a dog for very little effort and no cost!

Remember, one of the best values in points travel is going to Hawaii from the West Coast using British Airways Avios to fly on American or Alaska operated flights for as low as 12,500 Avios each way, so these Alaska routings should apply to many of you!

Each year Kauai Humane Society accepts around 7,000 animals, but they have a limited number of available adoptive homes due to being on an island. Their Pet Transfer Program helps save lives by sending dogs to mainland shelters with more exposure and high adoption rates. The Pet Transfer Program has sent more than 400 animals to mainland shelters via Alaska Airlines since the start of the program in December 2012.

They say the cost of the flight for each dog flying alone is about $400, but if the dog/puppy is accompanied by a passenger, then the dog’s flight is free! This means they are always looking for travelers on Alaska Airlines who are willing to escort shelter dogs traveling to the mainland. This literally can save a dog's life and not require very much effort at all on your part.

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I contacted the Kauai Humane Society for details on exactly what a traveler has to do to participate in the program, and they outlined the following protocols (also detailed on their website):

  • Contact brandy at with your Alaska Airlines flight date, time, and destination
  • Kauai Humane Society meets you at the airport "90 minutes prior to check-in" to get the animals checked in for the flight
  • Most of the time the dogs fly in cargo, so there is nothing for you to do during the flight.
  • Once you land, you will go to baggage claim to receive the animal and then immediately turn it over to a shelter volunteer at your destination

If you want to get involved with the Kauai Humane Society on your Hawaiian trip, but aren't flying back to the mainland on an eligible Alaska flight, then you can still participate with their Shelter Dog Field Trips program where you can "check out" a dog for the day in order to help socialize the dogs, get them some exercise, and hopefully you can also have a little fun with your dog-for-the-day. They will also help get the dog back to the mainland with you in case you fall in love and want to adopt your dog-for-the-day friend!

Thank you in advance to anyone who is able to fit this type of "traveling dog rescue" into their vacation itinerary! If this idea sounds so awesome you feel inspired to plan a trip around it to Kauai, here are some resources to get you started.